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Connecticut Man Who Spent 48 Years As Fugitive Dies

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A man who spent 48 years as a fugitive from a Georgia prison before being found this year in a small Connecticut town has died at the age of 71.

An attorney for Robert Stackowitz said his client was taken to a hospital over the weekend and died Monday as the result of numerous health complications.

Stackowitz escaped from a prison work camp in Carrolton, Georgia, in 1968 while serving a 17-year sentence for robbery.

Stackowitz assumed the name Robert Gordon and settled in the tiny rural Connecticut town of Sherman, where he worked at car dealerships, taught shop at a local high school and repaired boats at his home for friends and neighbors.

Authorities were able to track him down when he applied for Social Security benefits and he was arrested at his home in Sherman in May.

A Connecticut judge in October dropped a fugitive-from-justice charge against Stackowitz.

Georgia officials had withdrawn their extradition request and accepted a parole supervision plan after learning that Stackowitz has serious health problems, including heart failure and bladder cancer.

"There is no question that his health was in critical condition and that's why we fought as hard as we did to keep him in Connecticut," his attorney, Norm Pattis, told WCBS 880's Fran Schneidau. "He was able to die, not necessarily in his home which was his hope, but close to home and around the people who love him."

Pattis also said Stackowitz had hoped to get together with his attorney one last time.

"And I could never find the time to do it and that weighs heavily on me right now," Pattis said. "So he's gone, but not forgotten."

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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